NEW YORK, May 26, 2011 – Rio Grande Valley Vipers President Bert Garcia is the recipient of the 2011 NBA Development League Team Executive of the Year Award, it was announced today by NBA Development League President Dan Reed. The NBA Development League Team Executive of the Year is determined by peer voting, teams are not allowed to vote for themselves.
"The NBA D-League is pleased to recognize Bert Garcia with the Team Executive of the Year Award in honor of his extraordinary accomplishments this season," said Reed. "The Vipers set new heights in business performance and community involvement, and truly exemplified an innovative spirit."
Under Garcia’s leadership, the Vipers led the league in tickets sold, group ticket sales, and overall attendance. In addition to being the first team to have both an English and Spanish version of their website, the Vipers' marquee partnership with Lone Star National Bank was the first of three such deals in the league. The team advanced to the 2011 NBA D-League Finals for the second year in a row.
"This is a tribute to our very supportive ownership and the best staff in the NBA D-League," said Garcia. "The tremendous support from our fans and the local community in the Valley continues to fuel our commitment to success on and off the court."
Garcia, who is entering his fifth season with the Vipers and second season as Team President, is the NBA D-League’s first Hispanic team president. Garcia joined the Vipers during the 2007-08 season, as a basketball operations volunteer for Coach Bob Hoffman, for whom he had worked for previously at the University of Texas Pan-American. He joined the Vipers’ front office full-time during the February 2008 season as a corporate sales manager. Garcia was then promoted to Assistant General Manger of Corporate Sales before becoming Vice President of Operations. A native of Edinburg, Texas, he has two daughters.
Jon Jennings was the inaugural winner of the 2010 NBA D-League Team Executive of the Year award.